Microsoft's Windows 95 is officially 20 years old today. It's a little hard to believe.

It feels like just yesterday we were logging on to our 95-based computers with 4 MB of RAM and 50 MB of storage space.

Of course, many of the great features that were introduced in Windows 95 are still being used in Windows computers today. While there are (thankfully) plenty of differences between the two, and advancements that have been made over the last 20 years, the recent release of Windows 10 parallels Microsoft's release of Windows 95 in many ways.

Internet Explorer Also Launched 20 Years Ago

Perhaps the biggest parallel that can be made between the two operating systems is that they both introduce the world to a new way to browse the Web. Internet Explorer was first launched on August 16, 1995 and was made available as an add-on to Windows 95. Internet Explorer was the company's first step into the browser wars and was long hailed as the best and most-used Internet browser around. Of course, nowadays, browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have taken the lead, however, Microsoft is not done with Internet browsers just yet.

For Windows 10, the company released an all-new Internet-browsing experience in Edge. The browser brings a number of features that Internet Explorer did not have, such as integration with Microsoft's personal assistant, Cortana. The browser is also ultra lightweight and includes annotation tools such as the ability to draw on any Web page. The browser does not support add-ons just yet, however, Microsoft says that add-ons are on their way.

Windows 95 was a Multitasker's Dream

Windows 95 introduced a number of features for multitasking. For example, the operating system was the first to introduce the taskbar in Windows, allowing users to quickly and easily switch between programs. In fact, this taskbar has largely remained the same, at least in function, since then.

In Windows 10, however, Microsoft has introduced a number of new multitasking features, most notably in virtual desktops. It is arguable that Microsoft is a little late to the game when it comes to virtual desktops, especially considering the fact that the feature has been available on Apple's OS X for a number of years now. Despite this, it's better late than never and is sure to be a feature that users will appreciate. With virtual desktops, users can have multiple full-screen apps open and can quickly and easily switch between them.

Windows 95 was the "Start" of Something New

The great Start menu was first introduced in Windows 95, and it was a feature that would become a centerpiece of the Windows operating system for decades to come. The Start menu allowed for quick and easy access to all of the user's programs. That is, of course, until Windows 8. With Windows 8, Microsoft removed the Start menu in favor of other ways of accessing programs, much to the frustration of Windows users. While the company brought the Start menu back in Windows 8.1, it really wasn't until Windows 10 that the Start menu has been put back front-and-center, where it should be.

With Windows 10, the Start menu has evolved quite a bit. It features a completely different look, with the metro-style interface from Windows 8 being incorporated into the Start menu rather than any kind of "Start screen." Windows 10 doesn't do away with the Start menu like Windows 8 did, but it instead wraps everything up in a better-looking, more accessible menu.

Conclusions

Windows 95 was very much a game-changer. It remains to be seen if Windows 10 is as loved as 95 was back in the day, however, the new operating system is certainly on the right track in taking a classic piece of software and giving it a modern twist.

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